As another beautiful Okanagan summer comes to an end, many of us are packing our summer toys away for the winter. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just parking it and coming back to it in the spring. It may sound counterintuitive, but problems can arise in storage just as easily as when the car is driven regularly. Here are a few car storage tips you can follow to make sure your car stays in tip-top shape.
Cover it up
Keeping your car covered is the best way to keep it from accumulating dust and debris that can damage the paint. If the car is outside, it becomes even more important. Sun exposure can dull your paint, while leaves and twigs inevitably find their way into every imaginable nook and cranny. Investing in a high quality all weather car cover should be priority #1 when putting your car in storage.
Fill The Tank
An empty fuel tank presents an opportunity for moisture to accumulate. Keeping the fuel tank full will minimize the empty space, and thus prevent moisture from forming. Moisture in your fuel tank can cause corrosion in your fuel system, so this is an important step in keeping your car healthy in long term storage. You can go a step further by adding a bottle of fuel stabilizer, which will prevent the gas from deteriorating and prevent ethanol buildup, which causes hum and varnish in your fuel system.
Keep It Charged
When your car is driven regularly, the battery will be recharged by the alternator. When your car sits dormant for a long time, the battery will slowly lose its charge. You can combat this by using a battery maintainer, also known as a trickle charger or tender. This is a device that connects to your battery and provides a small trickle of power to keep your battery from discharging.
Another option is to start the car every couple of weeks and run it for at least 15 minutes. If your car is only sitting for a month or two, this is a good solution, but for seasonal or long term storage, we recommend a battery maintainer.
Leave The Parking Brake Off
If you leave your parking brake on for a long period of time, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to disengage when you want to get things moving again. When the brake pads are pressed against the rotors for a long time, the materials can fuse together with a surprising amount of strength. Older cars suffer a bit more from this, as dirt and corrosion in the linkages and cables as well, seizing them and making it more difficult to get them moving again when the time comes.
Keep Unwanted Guests Out
Unfortunately, the ideal conditions for storing your car are also ideal conditions for mice and rats to move in and make a home. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent this. You can leave mothballs or cotton swabs dipped in peppermint oil as a barrier around the perimeter of your car, and in the engine bay for good measure – you can read more tips on rodent control for cars here. Alternatively, some good old fashioned baited mouse traps will give them something more attractive than your car.
On top of all these things, having your car inspected before putting it away is always a good idea. You’ll want to identify and fix any leaks or other issues beforehand so that when the time comes to wake the beast, you know it’ll be ready and waiting. Always feel free to contact Motor Werke to do your winter storage maintenance checks.